Are race-day practice sessions necessary?
With two days of practice and drivers using the same engine, Rusty Wallace thinks it's time for the IRL to eliminate practice sessions on race day.
Sunday at Homestead, Fla., was my first race in the booth as a color commentator for the IndyCar Series. But the event itself became secondary after the death of Paul Dana during the practice session.
The question that was immediately raised: Should the race go on following his death?
The mentality of all race car drivers, no matter what happens, is that they always would want the race to go on. Sunday, it went on in honor of Paul Dana.
I told Brian Barnhart, the ...
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• Dana remembered at IRL service as passionate, driven
• Kreidler: IRL sent wrong message by running race
• Injured Carpenter will not race in St. Pete
• IRL looking at video, skid marks in crash probe
• IRL president: Racing was right decision
• Oreovicz: Cruel, competitive business cost Dana his life
• Wheldon wins race darkened by death
• IndyCar's Dana dies after practice crash
Age: 30; born in St. Louis on April 15, 1975
Education: Bachelor's degree in journalism from the Northwestern University.
Professional experience: Started as a motorsports journalist for several magazines, including Autoweek and Sports Illustrated, but dreamed of getting behind the wheel.
Driving experience: 1996-1997, debuted in Bridgestone Racing School Mechanics Championship and won three races; 1998-1999, ran in Skip Barber Formula Dodge Series, earning six wins and seven poles; 2000, competed in Formula Ford 1600 SCCA Nationals; 2001; made national USF2000 series debut, earning two top fives, and finished second in U.S. F3 series debut at Mosport Park; 2003, six top 10 finishes as a rookie in Indy Pro Series; 2004, finished second in Indy Pro Series points with victory at Milwaukee Mile and pole at Homestead-Miami Speedway; 2005, competed in three IRL IndyCar Series races, finishing season-best 10th in debut at Homestead, sustained season-ending broken back in crash during practice for Indianapolis 500 in May; 2006, signed with Rahal Letterman Racing.
Recent motorsports deaths
Most recent fatalities by series:
IndyCar*: Paul Dana, Homestead, Fla., 2006
NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt, Daytona, Fla., 2001
Champ Car: Greg Moore, Fontana, Calif., 1999
Formula One: Ayrton Senna, Imola, Italy, 1994
* Other IRL deaths: Tony Renna (Indianapolis, 2003) and Scott Brayton (Indianapolis, 1996)
• IRL president blames no one for death
• Rahal-Letterman Racing mourns
• ESPN's Marlo Klain follows up on crash
• Driver PJ Chesson on the loss of Paul Dana
• IRL drivers race on with heavy hearts
• Dan Wheldon wins somber IRL opener
• Practice rounds a necessary evil of racing
• Sunday practice: Good or bad?
• Paul Dana's life and career